Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To Your Health

Today’s post is the 330th Olio entry. The title of this blog, Olio, was selected because it is defined as, “A collection of various artistic or literary works or musical pieces; a miscellany.”

I’ve invited a guest blogger and fellow Clairton High School alumnus to contribute. Read and enjoy.

I was asked if I’d like to write a “guest” blog, and at first I refused because I didn’t think I had anything interesting to say. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that what began as a career choice five years ago has become a passion, and I feel the need to share it.

Our health today is in crisis. We spend over $2 trillion a year on medical care, which represents one-sixth of the U.S. economy. This money is spent almost exclusively on treating the symptoms of illness. It has very little to do with preventing illnesses or with making people feel stronger or healthier. Studies show that 90% of pharmaceutical sales are for maintenance drugs which people will take the rest of their lives, and only 10% is for drugs that will cure a disease.


1. In 1980, 15 percent of the U.S. population was obese; in 2000, it rose to 27 percent, and today it is over 34 percent. Add to that the 33 percent who are overweight and you find that approximately two-thirds of all Americans need to lose weight. Moreover, overweight and obesity are symptoms of poor nutrition. Typically, someone who is obese is vitamin-deficient and suffers from fatigue and arthritis or other ailments that all stem from improper nutrition. Our food industry, which represents about one trillion dollars annually, exacerbates the problem by catering to the “lowest common denominator” of poor nutrition.

2. As a result of the obesity epidemic, 18 million Americans have diabetes. Sixty-five percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke, and the medical costs alone to treat diabetes now exceed $100 billion a year. By 2010 diabetes is expected to exceed both heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death through its many complications. From 2005 to 2007, the prevalence of diabetes increased 13.5 percent and if current trends continue, it is predicted that one in three Americans will develop the disease in his or her lifetime.

3. Anyone with a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 milligrams is classified as pre-diabetic, which means their blood sugar is high enough to significantly increase their risk of developing diabetes. 57 million people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes and most of these people will develop type 2 diabetes.

4. Approximately 47 million Americans have metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of symptoms that includes at least three of the following: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, abnormal cholesterol levels and excess body weight (especially abdominal fat). Many have no idea they have it. Having metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing heart disease by more than 30 percent and diabetes by nearly 50 percent in both men and women. Metabolic syndrome appears up to 10 years before the onset of heart disease, diabetes or related conditions.

5. For the first time in two centuries, children in America are predicted to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. This is due to the rapid rise in childhood obesity which, if left unchecked, could shorten life spans by as much as five years.


1. Increased consumption of more energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods with high levels of sugar and saturated fats.

2. Reduced physical activity.


1. Lose weight. Weight is often the mothership of many health issues. Losing just 5-10 percent of your weight improves blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and cholesterol, putting a major dent in metabolic syndrome factors and helping you lose the dangerous “apple” shape formed by belly fat accumulation. To get weight loss started, reduce portion size of foods to decrease calories you consume and exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week.

2. Lower blood pressure. Weight loss gives you a jump on that goal along with a diet low in salt and saturated fats. Up your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts, as well.

3. Improve cholesterol. Replace saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

4. Lower blood sugar. Elevated blood sugar can wreak silent havoc on your body for years before the damage becomes apparent — or you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. To lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, exercise regularly and lose weight. And add more whole grains, nuts, and legumes such as beans or peas to improve blood sugar levels.

So, how does all of this tie in with my career choice? Five years ago I began taking a nutritional product that has greatly improved my health. At the age of 59, I do not take any medications and that is the way I intend to live the rest of my life. As soon as I realized this was a company of integrity with a heart, I joined the business and started helping others improve not only their health, but also their financial situation. Our goal is to “nourish our world” and through a foundation that is funded totally by our associates, we are feeding 42,000 undernourished children a day around the world with our products. For many of these children, this is the only nutrition they will receive and they are seeing fantastic changes in their health. Our products bridge the gap between what our bodies need and what we are receiving (or not receiving) from our food.

We’ve spent years calling doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies the health industry, when in reality these businesses are truly the sickness industry. The wellness industry is products and services that promote wellness rather than respond to illness—this includes nutritional supplements, super foods and juices, personal trainers and “alternative care,” such as chiropractic. I am proud to be associated with a company that is at the forefront of the wellness industry.

Jill Hogan Urso

Clairton High School Class of 1968

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thank you.